Movieline's Hollywood Life - 09/01/2006
"Jon Heder gives an enormously winning performance as the geeky, self-effacing parking meter man who gains confidence under the tutelage of the conniving Billy Bob Thornton."
Rolling Stone - 10/05/2006 3 stars out of 4 -- "Thornton is fiendishly funny, lacing his charm with a cruelty that spares no one....Thornton and Heder keep you howling."
Sight and Sound - 03/01/2007
"Jon Heder is oddly sweet both as the put-upon Roger and the more dashing later version....There is effective comic creation here..."
Ultimate DVD - 08/01/2007 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he cast winningly handle those two humour essentials -- love and violence."
Dr. P (Billy Bob Thornton) runs a SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS at which luckless men are given a crash course in the ways of the alpha male. Dishing out trite but, to the men involved, revelatory advice about how to "initiate confrontation" and "lie, lie, and lie some more," Dr. P turns his students into virile studs who hide their still-lingering insecurities behind sunglasses and absurd bluster. When one student, the kindhearted but painfully awkward Roger (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE's Jon Heder), has too easy of a time capturing the girl of his dreams, Dr. P's competitive streak goes off the charts and a battle between teacher and student ensues. After an exchange of several pranks, each with increased maliciousness and consequence, one of the two fellas lands the girl.
While SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS (based on a British comedy from the 1960s, and co-written and directed by Todd Phillips) doesn't reach the rambunctious fever pitch of OLD SCHOOL (also directed by Phillips) or contain the oddly endearing, near-sublime vulgarity of THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, it does have its fair share of laughs. The primary redeeming quality of the film is its excellent cast, which features various alumni of THE UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and MR. SHOW (including Matt Walsh, Paul Scheer, Horatio Sanz, Sarah Silverman, and David Cross). Billy Bob Thorton has developed something of a mid-career cottage industry playing foul-mouthed S.O.Bs; Heder has the lovably awkward dork down to a twitch-filled science (his panic attacks nearly induce the same in the audience); and while former REAL WORLD LONDON cast member Jacinda Barrett is stuck in the somewhat restrictive girlfriend role as Amanda, she's genuinely charming and effervescent. Fans of the early-2000s "frat pack"-style comedies should find much to amuse them in SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS.
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